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if all goes well, if it goes wellthe two ships will arrive in nome on sunday or monday. wow, great video. we wish them the best. emergency situation there. thank you so much for joining us. i'm don lemon in world headquarters in atlanta. make sure you tune in to mr. wolf blitzer that begins right now. . >> you're in the "situation room," just three days to go to the next presidential republican contest in mitt romney's backyard. this hour, the state at play, and a tougher poll for romney at least, south carolina. i'll ask about the bitter primary attacks under way right now. are the gop candidates giving a gift to president obama? and the iowa women applaudeded by our own election team and caucus watchers around the country.
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stand by to learn more about edith and carolyn, who solved the case of the missing votes. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the "situation room." tuesday's new hampshire primary is just around the corner. get this, the dramatic anticipation is building for the republican presidential candidates. the first southern showdown will take place on january 21st, our new cnn poll is the first snapshot of support in south carolina, taken after the squeaker in iowa this past week. look at this, mitt romney now has an 18 point lead in the state of south carolina, which wasn't seen necessarily as all that friendly of a place for him. rick santorum has shot into
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number two in south carolina after his near victory in iowa. romney has an even wider lead in new hampshire, where his closest rival at least right now is ron paul. rick santorum has gained ground in new hampshire as well, his support climbing into the double digits. cnn's dan lothian is joining us from new hampshire, covering the story for us. what's the latest, dan? >> reporter: the latest is that romney continues to have that strong lead in the state in new hampshire. as you pointed out, paul right behind him, rick santorum, getting a little bump coming out of iowa. the number you can pay attention to, 15% of the voters here still remain undecided, still shopping around, trying to figure out which candidate they'll align themselves with. as we've been talking to voters and others in the state, we find two things. first, there is that sense that they don't feel overly enthusiastic about the overall field and secondly, a little bit of frustration the candidates
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have not been spending enough time here on the ground doing that retail publicing. yes, they've been here prior to the iowa caucuses but some of the voters believe they've seen enough of them out there on main street. in these final days, what you will see from the candidates, they'll be out there on the street, trying to shake hands, holding larger events, town hall meetings trying to make that final pitch to the undecided voters. >> we'll see how they shake things up in new hampshire. thank you. we've also seen some bitter infighting in this republican primary while president obama is out there campaigning but also doing his day job. we're joined by the republican national committee chairman. thanks for coming in. i want to talk politics in a moment. i want to get your reaction. on the economics jobs front, the numbers are moving in the right direction friday. we saw 200,000 jobs were created in december.
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moving up, six months in a row, at least 100,000 new jobs created. that's a dramatic improvement. what do you say? >> the numbers speak for themselves, wolf. personally, and i think in all objectiveness, they're just not where they need to be. nancy pelosi and the same people three or four years ago saying 5% was unacceptable and now dismissing 8.5%. it's still a disaster, where we're at is nowhere near where the president promised we would be at. spent over a trillion dollars trying to stimulate this economy. here's the bigger problem. americans don't feel better off than they were a few days ago just because the department of labor tells us things have ticktic ticked ever so slightly better. the fact is people are hurting
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out there, this economy is not where it should be and 70% of americans say we're on the wrong track in this country. we have a lot of work to do. >> no doubt an enormous apt of work that has to be done. look at this chart, i don't know if you will see it, shows the unemployment numbers month by month, going into the obama administration, last six or seven months of the bush administration, dramatic, 600,000, 700,000 jobs lost and the first few months of the obama administration, it continued, then starts picking up and in the positive all of this past year and the last six months, at least 100,000 new jobs every month created. that show as pretty dramatic improvement since the president took office. >> yeah. what you don't see in the numbers, though, wolf, and i can't see the chart. i can tell you what you don't see in the numbers, i think many astute observers know that, you're only seeing the
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percentage of people that are actually looking for work that are reflected in those numbers. what you don't see are the hundreds of thousands of people that are saying, i'm not even going to look for work, so they're not even actively looking for work and they're not even tracked by the department of labor. if you combine the people, first of all, looking for work and finding it and add on to that number the people who have said, look, i can't find a job, i'm not going to look for work and underemployed, we have numbers beyond any comprehension here in this country going on. while those numbers -- i can't see it, i'm not doubting your actual figures there, they're only reflective of the amount of people actually looking for work. let's face it. i think the idea of cheerleading for 8.5% unimplement employment country, even of that number is a joke. now, we can agree it's an uptick, but certainly, i couldn't possibly take it any further than that.
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>> obviously, we have to see where they go in the coming months between now and november what impact it will have. let me talk politics a little bit. republican party politics. you're the chairman of the republican party. as you know, it's been very bitter the past few weeks. newt gingrich calls romney a lie ear. and ron paul called disgusting and then a chicken hawk. these are not democrats blasting each other, republican presidential candidates. what are you doing about this? >> listen, you know this maybe even more so than i do, wolf. primaries are tough. history shows that tough primaries, usually for the opposition party, they're usually a good thing. i happen to think the opposite, wolf. i think a tough primary, a little bit of drama, everyone is talking about it, even david axelrod is talking about our primary, i think it gives us a lot of horsepower.
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the interest and the intrigue is great. voter registration, both in iowa and new hampshire are out-pacing democrats 2-1. we closed registration gaps in both those states where 8500 votes ahead in new hampshire. so what i'm telling you is that although tough primaries can cause some people to wring their hands and be concerned, at least on our side of the aisle, in reality, the history shows, and you look at hillary clinton and barack obama, tough primaries usually equal winners in american politics. i'm excited about it. >> how worried are you that ron paul, if he doesn't get the republican presidential nomination, might run as a third party candidate, dividing up a lot of that conservative vote, if you will, and could almost certainly guarantee, at least potentially, president obama's re-election? >> i'm not worried about it, wolf. i have to worry about where we're at on the republican side. i think ron paul's a good republican. i know he loves our party. and his son is a great leader in
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the united states senate. i don't see that at all. i know that he believes that barack obama, and i do, too, is squandering the very idea of america, the idea of personal and individual and economic freedom, that this president is flushing down a toilet, and i know he believes that and i know that he is a republican, and i'm not worried about it at all. >> we're out of time. flushing economic freedom down the toilet. what do you mean by that? >> what i mean is when you have a federal government that's on a pathway here under barack obama's watch, to spend 42 or 43 cents on every dollar made in america, that's a battle for freedom, that's a battle for freedom between governments insatiable appetite to grow and it's also a battle for everyone's individual and economic freedom. we've created a government that is so big, golwolf, we can't afd it anymore. that's the problem. we created something so big, forever we don't get in control
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of our spending and the size of government we will lose our freedom in this country. >> reince, priebus the chairman of the republican party. thanks for coming in. >> happy new year. >> happy new year to you. >> and the poms in south carolina. who's the favorite. all in the family, rick santorum says his family brings his strength and others pointing to some controversy. we'll explain? the two iowa women who became big-time internet sensations after iowa's caucus. stay with us. osteo bi-flex has really helped my knees. osteo bi-flex has been incredible for me, and i swear by it. [ male announcer ] osteo bi-flex, the glucosamine chondroitin suppment with 5-loxin advanced. shows improvement in joint comfort within 7 days. osteo bi-flex, my knees thank you. [ male announcer ] osteo bi-flex. the #1 doctor and pharmacist recommended brand.
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rick santorum capped his surge in iowa with an early showing in that state finishing second to romney by a grand total of eight votes if not a victory, certainly a virtual tie. i spoke to santorum, right after the votes were counted. >> well, you know, this is the first step in the process. we will be on to new hampshire, work hard and compete there. i'm a little bit behind the curve in the sense governor romney has been spending a lot of money and time up there and running for six years and we feel like we can go up there and
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compete. we have a great team on the ground. my campaign manager is from new hampshire. he started out as my new hampshire guy. he knows how to run races. he managed a campaign up there. we have a lot of frank's organization able to win a tough congressional seat up there. we have about 25 state reps already before tonight who have signed up. they haven't just signed up, we have hard working state reps up there. new hampshire is all about grassroots politics. we feel very good we will climb that ladder, just like we did here. >> what about john mccain's endorsement of mitt romney, which came a few hours after the iowa results. >> yeah. that's fine. i would have expected that. i'm surprised he hasn't done it earlier. john mccain is a great man, someone an honor to serve with. he has served this country and sacrificed more than frankly anybody i've had the privilege to know in any way.
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i commend governor romney for getting his endorsement. i'm not surprised by it. john is a more moderate member of the republican team and i think he fits in with newt newt's -- excuse me, mitt's view of the world. i wish him the very best. again, i have nothing but respect for john mccain. you know, look, people are going to make -- john mccain is not paying me back, john mccain is doing what he thinks is right for the country. i respect that. he's always done what he think is right for the country. i respect that and had my disagreements over the years and sure i will do in the future. john is a patriot and i commend him and encourage him to do that. >> santorum made family values a de~ theme as he doggedly campaigned for months in iowa and a key them as he enjoyed his hard work after the caucus votes were counted. >> six of my kids are up here, elizabeth, john, daniel, sarah
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maria, peter and patrick. they have not seen much of their dad over the past several months. yet, they have stood by me every step of the way, encouraged me and loved me unconditionally. there's another little girl who is not here tonight. she is with a little buddy. she's our little angel. that's isabella maria. isabella maria, we don't take her out in crowds, she's -- has a disability. >> brian todd has been taking a closer look into senator santorum's own compelling family story. tell our viewers what you are finding out. >> that family story has now become a huge part of the campaign narrative. a story of a fromley that has drawn controversy in recent days but also a real value of compassion, especially when they speak of their youngest member. in the glow of his dazzling performance in iowa, rick
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santorum speaks of the strength he's gotten from his family. the six children with him and one absent, who he calls their little angel. >> she has a disability that has a -- according to the records, the statistics, has a 1% chance of survival after one year. she is 3 1/2 years old. >> that's bella, isabella marie santorum, born with a genetic disorder that's a chromosomal defect that causes brain damage. the odds have been against her from the start. sometimes with his wife, karen, weeping alongside him, rick santorum has spoken about bella and those around her on the margins of life. >> she is an angel around us because she is pure love, a little girl who shouldn't be here. >> reporter: dan santorum, his younger brother says they often have to leave her home while on
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the campaign trail. >> how challenging is it to leave bella during the rigors of the campaign? >> as difficult as it is when bella is healthy, when she develops pneumonia is very difficult. to see your child gasping for air is heartbreaking. >> reporter: his wife, a former neonatal nurse treats her with a neb bulizer. the santorums who are devout catholics had to defend their actions about another child they had in the mid-90s. >> reporter: a boy named gabriel who died only two hours after he was born. karen wrote in a book, she and her husband took he deceased child home, slept with him and showed him to their young children who were then very young. and liberal alan combs said
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voters wouldn't respond to that. >> once they get a load of things he has done, taking his two hour old child home after childbirth and played with it for a couple of hours so the other children would know the child was real. >> reporter: rick santorum addressed why they brought the child home. >> it was so important to recognize for the family, recognize the life of that child, and for all the children to know they had a brother and sister. and -- >> reporter: combs later apologized. i asked dan santorum if that traumatized rick's other children? >> not at all. if you know rick's family, being as close as they already, very loving family, they needed that. rick and karen did the right thing. >> reporter: others who know rick santorum said those episodes give him strength on the trail and will help mhim wih
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other evangelicals in the primaries. he genuinely walks the walk of his pro-life convictions and that will earn the voter's respect. >> pretty compelling story he has. thanks. they got out of bed in the middle of the month in iowa. now, they are famous. we will show you how they helped all of us clear up caucus confusion. plus, outrageous amounts of campaign track. we're now on track for a billion dollar, with a b, a billion dollar race for the white house.
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some rather unlikely stars emerged from this week's caucuses. their names are edith and carolyn and the highlights of our caucus coverage.
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these ladies were pretty amazing. >> they certainly were, wolf. now, they are big-time stars of youtube and twitter. carolyn and edith, two charming women who provided the best moments on iowa caucus night. it was the closest gop caucus ever, a nail biter. >> rick santorum, look at this, he's 13 votes aheads of mitt romney. >> reporter: one minute richter them up, five minutes later, it was mitt romney. >> mitt romney is 13 votes ahead of rick santorum. >> reporter: on and on throughout the night. >> omg. look at this. look what's going on. one vote. >> reporter: it finally came to war room two, precinct two in clinton, iowa. carolyn heads the clinton county women's club. >> it's late here, they were in bed and the chair was also in bed -- >> what you're saying -- >> they needed the information so i came to edith's home and pounded on the door and woke her
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up. >> reporter: that would be ed h edith, the clinton county republican women's chair woman and says the reported the results sometime in the night and there was some kind of glitch and the state office had not received them. cnn was able to get her on the phone and she officially called the election. >> who won? >> mitt romney won wifrth 51 votes. rick santorum and ron paul tied with 33 votes each. >> that's 51-33. if this is the missing precinct, wolf, add it up there, mitt romney wins. >> reporter: as john cain did a little bit of math edith showed off her feisty size at 2:00 a.m. >> if this is what is missing, the numbers receiving from the state do not match the numbers we just receivered from the county claire woman. >> what do you mean, the numbers don't match? >> i'll explain it to you. you go ahead and explain it.
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it looks like the math we got from edith and carolyn, our ladies in clinton county, anderson, who would have thought -- >> that was the best live phone call ever. >> edith and carolyn, they knew what they were talking about. >> edith and carolyn started blowing up on twitter. >> they took the twitter-verse and media by storm at 2:30 in the morning when they came to the rescue of everyone and solved the mystery of the missing votes in iowa. >> you're trending worldwide apparently on twitter i just learned from ali velshi. are you big on the twitter? >> caller: not so good. i just got an ipad for christmas but i don't know how to work it yet. >> would you ladies like to be the co-anchors of a new cnn program, "citiznn after dark"? >> reporter: they joined cnn for a second time after the results were finalized with the cnn
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anchors and contributors. >> guess what, joining us now on the phone, edith and carolyn. let's give them a big applause. let me start with edith. thank you so much on behalf of all of us and the american people, we want to thank you for clearing up this mystery. tell us how you feel right now, edith. >> caller: i am just overwhelmed with all of this. >> the two have become media superstars, much to the amusement of their kids and grandkids. carolyn, in fact, has been referred to as a modern day paul revere for her role in driving to edith's house to get the information that the whole country was waiting for. >> i love these two women. they were great. >> very very charming. >> thanks very much for that. >> new hampshire, this coming tuesday, then on to south carolina, two weeks from -- we will go inside that critical contest with our political analyst, gloria borger and ron brownstein. also, campaign cash, who's spending and how much?
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we're following the money trail. plus, chilling new allegations by a syrian defector. he says the government in damascus spent so much money slaughtering its own people, it was forced to make huge budget cuts. did you say pie? pie. she said pie. pie. [ male announcer ] get back on track with low prices on everything you need. backed by our ad match guarantee. walmart. i love the fact that quicken loans provides va loans. quicken loans understood all the details and guided me through every step of the process. i know wherever the military sends me, i can depend on quicken loans.
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what happened in iowa seems to have had a big impact on republicans in south carolina. take another look at our brand new cnn time orc poll. mitt romney's support in the southern primary has shot up to 37% from 20% last month. rick santorum is in second place with 19%, climbing his way out of single digits. newt gingrich is a close third but way, way down from the big lead he held in december. david mattingly is joining us
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from south carolina. set the scene there for us, because right after new hampshire, new hampshire is on tuesday, all eyes will certainly be on south carolina. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. what a defensive a month makes, forever i was standing here the first week of december, we would have been talking how great newt gingrich was doing, what a commanding lead he had in the republican pack at that time. it shows you how quickly things are changing after iowa and soon after new hampshire. mitt romney now at the top, doing well among conservatives here. this is a huge conservative test for the entire field. mitt romney with these poll results showing he's appealing to conservatives as well as to born again christians, to evangelicals, almost across the board. i spent a lot of time the last couple of days, talking to evangelical voters and telling me they were looking at the field and seeing all the candidates are saying all the things they want to hear when it comes to their positions on gay
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marriage and abortion but they're also looking for someone who has electability. they're not only casting their vote for a republican candidate, they're trying to cast a vote for someone they believe will beat president obama in november. these poll results suggest, with a couple weeks to go, millionaimitt romney white be the person benefitting from that point of view. when you have that kind of thinking going into the poll, the support could be considered soft, particularly for a front-runner. with two weeks to go, it still could be any's race. what i think some of our poll results showing a lot of people here possibly willing to change their minds before they go to the polls, wolf. >> you make an excellent point on that. thanks very much. let's dig deeper right now with our chief political analyst, gloria borger and senior political analyst, ron, from the
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"national journal." let's look at the numbers in december and now. romney 20 from 20% to 37%. santorum from 4% to 19%. gingrich collapsed from 43% to 18. ron paul, he's doubled from 6 to 12%. rick perry collapsed as well, didn't have much to begin with, 8 to 5%. here has the question. i'll start with you gloria, everyone assumes on tuesday mitt romney will win in new hampshire where you and ron are right now. if he goes and wins in south carolina, is it over? >> reporter: i think you'd have to say it is. if he wins handily here in new hampshire and his opponents are trying to keep that margin down but he's still expected to win and then he goes to south carolina, where he's got the support of the governor and he looks like he's doing well, nothing succeeds like success, wolf. if he wins south carolina, you know, in modern history, no republican has been nominated without winning south carolina.
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you'd have to say, with his resources as he heads into florida, a very big diverse state, romney could have it locked up after florida. >> yeah. he's been campaigning this week in south carolina with john mccain who won the state republican primary four years ago, a lot more important is probably nikki haley, the governor of south carolina, someone very supported by the tea party movement. how important is that for mitt romney? >> well, by the way, not only is he campaigning in south carolina, he's already advertising on television in florida, which may be as significant a reflection of the financial advantage gloria talked about. every contested republican race since 1980, five have followed the same pattern. one candidate won iowa and another won new hampshire and the other won south carolina and that person was the nominee. he has the strength to do what no modern nibt can do is wine
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iowa and new hampshire. if he can go to south carolina and your poll shows how profound the poll is on the states down the calendar, once states start voting, you see how much he moves up not only with natural constituency, college graduates, and evangelicals and tea party, he only got 11% of those votes in south carolina last time and now at 35. it underscores the urgency for conservatives skeptical of romney to find a way to unify that vote against him. if he wins south carolina, he's in a big position to win in florida and it's hard to see where anybody else goes from that. >> the internals of this poll look very different from iowa. you have mitt romney doing better with tea party, mitt romney doing better with conservatives. what this tells me is voters in south carolina may be saying, you know what, we want to look
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for somebody who's electable, who can take on barack obama, and maybe they're coming to that decision that it's mitt romney. >> one cautionary note when i look at the poll. 49% say they still might change their minds over the course of the next two weeks before the south carolina primary. they're still open to changing their mind potentially. >> that is important to note. we have really not seen to a remarkable extent, mitt romney has avoided the crossfire even though he's the front-runner. the people chasing him have mostly been going after each other, whether rick perry or rick santorum or calling ron paul a chicken hawk, r you are beginning to see a more focus on mitt romney and the large vote of the evangelicals, 60% in 2008, could be open to it. even in south carolina, evangelical christians have been more pragmatic voters and less
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ideological than elsewhere. although it's a conservative state it has been the firewall state for most republican races. >> as we look at new hampshire right now, coming in second potentially, gloria, could be important. who comes in second? >> reporter: at this point, i think it could be ron paul. what's interesting is that ron paul attracts independent voters, as he did in iowa, and independents, as you know, wolf, can vote in the new hampshire primary. it depends how many of those voters turn out. some of them are very young, some are anti-war and they would be attracted to ron paul here. i think what all of the candidates are trying to do is take romney down from the stratosphere, from the 40% level, and if they can split the vote and get him down where he normally is, in the 25 range, then they'll be able to say that he's a weak front-runner.
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that's, i think, the best they can hope for. >> gloria and ron, thanks very much. how much is your vote worth? backed by the super packs, candidates ready to spend their way into your hearts. and the shock iing slaughter in syria. the government is spending so much on its brutal crackdown, it's running out of money. on my,
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a chilling new development in syria's bloody domestic conflict, a suicide bombing in the heart of damascus leaving dozens of people dead and many more wounded. following these developments from beirut, arwa, you filed an
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extraordinary report on a syrian government defector on an inside review of the brutal crackdown. i want to play the report for our viewers. >> reporter: in the syrian capital, the defense ministry this is nerve center of the efforts to stamp out unrest. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: my office is on the 12th store of the ministry of defense. >> reporter: sulehad worked there for years and he is not part of the inner circle but in a position to see the wheels of oppression at work. >> translator: during protests in damascus, armed gangs filled the green public transport buses and flanked by four-wheel drive vehicles filled with weapons. >> reporter: those they didn't kill, they brought back. >> translator: on a daily basis, i used to see them bringing in blindfolded and handcuffed detainees on buses, kept in underground prison, some even
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built under streets. >> reporter: he makes this chilling allegation. >> what is more horrific is the intelligence bans carrying the red crescent insignia labeled syrian red crescent drive through the protests and aftermath bulances and fire at the protesters. >> reporter: he says he oversaw spending at the defense ministry. he tells cnn the regime hired hit men, paying them $100 a day. it spent so much on the security crackdown, the budgets of other ministries had to be cut by a third. he says for a while, he hoped there would be compromise. >> we were hoping the killing would stop and the regime would understand the revolution will win and maybe find a way to apiece the people. there was no hope. >> reporter: as the climate of fear took hold, he decided to get out. >> so i traveled to egypt through the airport normally with the excuse of registering my son in college in egypt. when the rest of my family
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followed me, i announced my defection in protest of what is happening in syria. >> reporter: much of the carnage he blames on intelligence services and armed gang, not regular troops. >> translator: bass sad assad is no longer able to control these monsters. >> reporter: he has this message for the outside world. >> we have reached a phase of genocide. this can't be tolerated under any circumstances. >> arwa is with us. he talks about genocide. on friday, we saw another suicide bombing right in the heart of damascus, the capital. give us a sense of what's going on. >> reporter: well, that particular bombing, the government is blaming on a terrorist suicide bomber. it took place at a traffic stoplight. the casualties were mostly civilian, there was a police
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station nearby. let's remember the syrian government from the on-set said it's targeting armed gangs and activists are saying this particular bombing was carried out by the government itself to discredit the opposition and also to try to deceive the arab league observers in country for around two weeks. and activists are saying this particular neighborhood was targeted because it is one of the few central damascus neighborhoods where activists have been going out on a daily basis. the government wanting to make multiple points but using another strategy to get people off the streets. that's what the people are saying and the government says it's after armed gangs. >> the bloody violence continues and suicide bombing there. a few weeks after all u.s. troops have left iraq, is that country potentially right now on the verge of a civil war?
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>> reporter: it almost certainly seems like the government is on the verge of crumbling apart on various fracture lines whether it's defined as sunni, shia, kurd or the ethnicities. that's the danger iraq is in. everybody knows as long as there is political instability in that country, is there going to be violence. i can tell you, there are great concerns amongst many iraqis who have helplessly been bearing the brunt of violence that they could be moving towards a bloody bloody sectarian war. no one wants to see that happen. when you look to the politics and politicians inabilities to come to any sort of agreements and various arguments taking place, dispute, sunni backed block that walked out of parliament and cabinet and sunni vice president who has accusations of running terrorists gangs leveled against him hiding in the kurdish north as ordinary iraqi, it does not give you much hope about your future. >> arwa damon watching this
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unfold. looks like it's going from bad to worse in iraq and syria. we'll stay in touch. thank you. tens of millions of dollars the republican candidates hauling it in. how far does money really go in winning an election? is it real or fake? the answer may surprise you. jeanne moos talks to the woman behind this dizzying rock-climbing ad.
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the beatles sang "money can't buy me love," but can the same be said for votes? presidential candidates are already finding out. mary snow has been doing some of the math for us. mary, what do you stee? >> wolf, the iowa results raised questions about the mfrn oney ie race, with santorum it operating on a shoe string budget losing by eight votes to romney. but a closer look, he was helped not only by supporters but by money not spent targeting him. >> hey, guys. >> reporter: rick santorum is blanketing new hampshire with a $2 million boost. money his campaign says raised in the 48 hours after his raitzor-thin second place finish to romney in the iowa caucuses. still, his cash pales in
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comparison to camp romney, which is expected to have raised $20 million in this past quarter alo alone. in iowa, santorum it trailed in cash flow, but instead invested in his ground game, campaigning in each of the state's 99 counties. he also got some late help from outside groups. >> rick santorum is ready to take on barack obama. >> reporter: super pacs, groups that have no limits on spending but more than $600,000 in ads touting san norm the final days leading up to the caucuses. that's according to the watch dog group the stun light foundation. >> santorum did kind of squeak through. in a sense, he was the last man standing in the carousel of candidates other than mitt romney to get popular support in iowa. >> reporter: newt gingrich had been leading the polls until a barrage of negative ads deflated
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that lead. the sunlight foundation reports super pacs have spent $13.1 million, groups supporting mitt romney make up one-third of them. also high on the list were backers supporting rick perry. but as political watcher stu rothenburg points out, money only goes so far. >> he didn't seem smart enough, knowledgeable enough, serious enough, and that proves an important rule. money can get you attention and visibility and put you before the public, but the candidate has to sell himself or herself and he just didn't do it. >> reporter: candidates have plenty of selling to do. and with nine months until november, it will likely result in unprecedented spending. >> outside groups spent about four and a half times more in 2010 than 2006. i'm not saying we'll see that with presidential candidates. but if we look at that explosion, you can look at 1.2 billion spent by outside groups to influence the election. >> wolf, that eye-popping
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estimate of potentially, just an estimate, 1.2 billion spent on campaigns doesn't even include spending by candidates and political parties. >> huge, huge number. mary, thank you. here is a warning to all of you. it might make you dizzy. jeanne moos takes a look at a rock climbing commercial that's got everyone talking. but here's the question, is it real, or is it fake? for a limited time, passages malibu
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will be giving away free copies of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to
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you've probably seen the ad, a woman climbing a terrifyingly high rock formation. but here's the question, is it real or is it fake? cnn's jeanne moos finds out. >> reporter: these days, when seeing is no longer believing, maybe you've seen this commercial and wondered if you can believe what you see. >> i use my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories, a new belt, some nylons, and what girl wouldn't need new shoes?
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i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. >> reporter: the reaction online is, this can't be real. >> yeah, it's real. >> reporter: thank you for making viewers physically dizzy and sick. i just can't help getting wiggy when she gets to the top and the camera angle is pointed at her feet and all you can see is imminent death. >> it's actually not very technically difficult. >> reporter: "it" is a rock formation called ancient art near moab, utah, but who is that hot ad girl? >> i had a camera on my helmet so it's me like looking at my feet as i walk. >> reporter: the feet belong to katie brown. she became wuchbt top female climbers after she ganl competing at the age of 15. citibank hired her and alex donald to do the commercial. you may recognize alex from the jaw-dropping piece "60 minutes" did on him. alex is famous for free soloing climbing incredible rock walls without ropes. >> there is no adrenaline rush.
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if i get a rush, it means something has gone horribly wro wrong. >> reporter: in the commercial, the two were using ropes and no one fell, though katie says she has had a few scary falls, like this one shot by carlos mason. viewers of the commercial are almost as curious about the lyrics to the song. ♪ somebody left the gate >> reporter: is it somebody likes my potatoes? no. ♪ somebody left the gate open >> reporter: got to give katie credit for being honest about how it felt up there at the tippy top. >> it's a little intimidating. >> reporter: the spot's even been parodied by someone using footage from a swedish diaper commercial. ♪ somebody left the gate open >> reporter: that high up, who wouldn't need a diaper?

The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer
CNN January 7, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news.

TOPIC FREQUENCY South Carolina 23, Iowa 18, Rick Santorum 16, New Hampshire 15, Us 15, Ron Paul 10, Edith 8, John Mccain 6, Carolyn 6, Santorum 6, Osteo Bi-flex 4, Newt Gingrich 4, Damascus 4, Syria 4, Florida 4, Karen 3, Obama 3, Rick Perry 3, Bella 3, Iraq 3
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